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50 CES earns AFSPC annual awards

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 50th Civil Engineering Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado recently added some new hardware to its trophy cases, as the unit earned two Air Force Space Command 2015 annual awards, Wednesday, Nov. 18.

First, 50 CES earned the Balchen/Post Award for Snow and Ice Removal.

"It is very fitting that our civil engineering squadron has been recognized for their snow and ice removal efforts the day after a major snow storm," said Col. DeAnna M. Burt, 50th Space Wing commander.

The 50 CES' behind-the-scene efforts during 2015, kept Schriever's roads clean and clear throughout 32 days of snowfall that set new accumulation records for the year.

Tech. Sgt. George Moore, 50 CES pavements and equipment shop non-commissioned officer in charge, explained the most challenging, yet rewarding achievement the snow removal team faced was battling the snow storms that hit the base from Feb. 20-28.

"The constant snow and long hours took its toll on the team and equipment, but the team still managed to perform above standards and the base was in better shape than in town," said Moore.

Although the 50 CES snow and ice removal team is the smallest in AFSPC, their accomplishments are great. The team cleared more than 62 inches of snow, de-iced 13 miles of road and maintained 3 million square feet of pavement all while enabling Schriever's 24/7 satellite mission to go uninterrupted by weather.

"Some of the things that have benefitted us throughout the season is that our leadership had our backs; we were prepared, trained and had enough manning, equipment and supplies on hand to complete our mission," said Moore.

Moore explained the team's success is also due to the teamwork between all of its members, which includes personnel from: structures, utilities, electrical and engineer assistants who are trained as augmentees.

As the year comes to a close and the snowy season gains momentum, Moore offers advice to all of Team 5-0 on how to stay safe and help the CES team keep the roads clear.

"I would like to remind everyone who drives on and off base to give the snow plows room to do their job, [because] equipment operators have a lot to watch out for. I'd also like to thank everyone for all of their contributions to the snow team."

But 50 CES has another award winner to celebrate - Henry Graski, who earned the AFSPC Outstanding Civil Engineering Manager of the Year award in the civilian technician category.

Graski led the repair of a faulty wastewater lift station piping--restoring utilities for the centralized security forces facility project, performed preventative maintenance on 190 equipment items which extended its lifespan by 40 percent and led the maintenance and repair of a $161,000 restricted area barrier.

"I am not usually looked at as a caring person, but it is that I care a lot," said Graski. "I care about doing things the correct way."

Graski's strong work ethic and attention to detail helped earn him this award. In addition to his strong work ethic, Graski also completed a national/state backflow certificate, an American Marsh pump repair course and an Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Distribution Systems Management course enabling 50 CES to expand its maintenance scope, prevent EPA fines and remain mission ready.

Graski explained the award was a complete surprise and is honored to have been nominated by his unit and selected by AFSPC.

"To my superiors that put me in for the award--thank you, and to my wife who tries to make me a better person as well as my co-workers who trust and believe in me," said Graski.

Wing leadership insists the work the individuals within 50 CES do is vitally important to the installation.

"I am very proud of our individual winner as well as the entire civil engineering squadron," said Burt.
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